Or, they may be from putting too much belief in what they read on
One of the most aggressive snakes in LA when I was growing up were the
copperheads, which I routinely ran across when mowing the 2 acre house
site ... often had to put back away from the damn things as they _advanced_.
Being reptile, maybe it's the difference in regional temperatures?
Probably has to do with temperature, last meal, etc. All snakes get
rather sluggish while digesting their last conquest or when cold.
But other than eastern diamondbacks and cornered large black racers,
they are the most aggressive snakes I've seen on land in the SE if
disturbed, and as a kid I played with them all. A large, active
copperhead fears nothing. Cottonmouths are no picnic either.
LA would be Lower Alabama, or the one in SoCal?
Come to think about it, it may not have been quite that large, more
like 3 1/2', but when you're a kid, something that large transfixed in
a striking pose looks mighty big - and grows larger every second. ;-)
Supposedly most snakebite deaths are from copperheads but also supposedly
that's because they are commonplace. Looking at all the copperhead photos
on flickr it's clear that they are pretty even tempered as venomous snakes
go--there are only a few shots out of hundreds where they have their mouths
I should add to that though, that any snake turns paranoid when it's
molting--there's a period before their new skin hardens when they are pretty
much blind and they'll strike at anything that they think _might_ be a
threat, so even one that knows you and is so mellow that you feel
comfortable picking it up and carrying it out of the shop may suddenly turn
on you if you catch it at the wrong time.
My neighbor told me a story (which I'm not sure is true; the guy is pretty good
embellishing) about being with a friend when they killed a rattler. My neighbor
ready to cut the rattle off as a souvenir, but his friend stopped him with a
stepped on the snake's neck and cut the head off first, then said "Ok, now you
can get the
rattle". As soon as my neighbor started cutting the rattle off, the snake's
and the bloody stub where the head had been hit him right in the calf.
Free bad advice available here.
To reply, eat the taco.
This Puffy, in Livingstone Zambia, October 1974, if I remeber
correctly was just over 5 feet long and almost 3 inches in diameter.
He was just inside the shop door when we came back from lunch. The
guys were pretty excited, and searched the whole shop after killing it
to be sure it didn't have a friend along!!!
On 10/07/2009 05:42 PM, email@example.com wrote:
I lived upcountry in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in the
late 80s. Had a python eat one of the neighbor's goats. They tracked
it down while it was still digesting it.
There was also the odd poisonous snake, one time some friends found a
spitting cobra in the outhouse. Our dog killed a little snake in the
house one time...didn't think it was poisonous though.
Best part about living there was our pet african grey parrot. They're
awesome. Stupid expensive in North America though.
Not sire what you're calling a puff adder. In Kentucky where I grew up,
a hognose snake was called a puff adder and they're about as harmless as
a snake can get. A lot of country folks were convinced they were
poisonous. They puff up and strike - with their mouth closed! If that
doesn't work, they roll over and play dead. But if you flip them over,
they flip right back - a dead snake is supposed to be on its back :-).
I worked a university exhibit of native snakes at the state fair when a
teenager. When people told me that the hognoses should have been in with
the poisonous snakes, I'd pick one up, force its mouth open, and stick in
a finger. I never got bit. The only problem was that after a couple of
days of being handled, they got so tame they wouldn't roll over anymore.
The only poisonous snakes in the US are rattlesnakes, copperheads, coral
snakes, and water moccasins. There is a "false" water moccasin that has
no poison, but his mouth is so foul that getting bit is almost like
getting stuck with a pungee stick.
AFAIK, only the hognose puffs up like a cobra. If you know of another,
let me know. In the meantime, look at:
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
On Wed, 07 Oct 2009 15:39:40 -0500, Larry Blanchard
Try Bitis Arietans - average size is about 40 inches, and thick as a
man's wrist. Can grow to roughly 70 inches in length.
They are responsible for more deaths in Africa than any other snake.
They are "Cytotoxic" - toxic to cells - and can cause severe necrosis
and low blood pressure. Only fatal in about 10% of untreated cases,
their death toll is still very high.
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